The Kroger Co. (Cincinnati) announced today that it has begun using autonomous vehicles to deliver groceries. It is first testing the service, which is powered by Silicon Valley startup Nero, in Scottsdale, Ariz.
The unmanned vehicles, called the R1, use public roads, and are solely used to transport goods, according to Reuters. The service is available at Kroger’s Fry’s Food Stores for a $5.95 delivery fee with no minimum order required for same- or next-day deliveries.
The grocer’s competitors Walmart (Bentonville, Ark.) and Amazon (Seattle) are also continuing to innovate to shorten delivery times and increase efficiency. Walmart said recently it would partner with Ford Motor Co. (Dearborn, Mich.) and Postmates Inc. (San Francisco) to deliver groceries and said it might someday use autonomous vehicles to do so.